I am a geochemist interested in how the Earth's continents form and evolve. I study both igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and use a variety of geochemical tools, such as major and trace element abundances, U-Th-Pb geochronology, radiogenic isotope tracers (Sr, Nd, Pb, Hf), and non-traditional stable isotope systems (Mo, Fe, U, Tl). Some of the questions that interest me are:
How do continental arc batholiths like those in the western U.S. form? How long do they take to assemble and what are the magma sources? How are tectonics and magmatism linked?
How do the tectonic terranes in western North America relate to one another? What are the basic Precambrian building blocks and when did they come together? When were Phanerozoic terranes accreted and how much have they slid around?
How does the recycling of Earth surface materials in subduction zones effect the composition of the mantle?
How has the composition of the continental crust changed through the course of Earth history, and what can sedimentary rocks tell us about crustal evolution?
At UMass Lowell, we now have a quadrupole ICP-MS, laser ablation unit, and ICP-OES in the Core Research Facilities. My primary use will be trace element measurement in solid and acid digested geologic samples and in situ U-Th-Pb dating of minerals such as zircon, monazite, and rutile. However, these tools have wide applications in other fields such as chemistry, engineering, and biology so we welcome collaborations. ICP-MS is an extremely flexible method and is capable of measuring the abundances of most elements on the periodic table.